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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Lumb to J. S. Henslow   2 May 1834

Bs. Ayres

May 2d 18/34


I beg to enclose you bill of lading for a Case of Specimens of Natural History which by direction of Mr Charles Darwin I forward to you pr. Brig “Basenthwaite” Mitchinson Martin for Liverpool— This Case contains part of the Head of the “Megatherium”—1 I regret that on the passage down the River it should have been broken; previous to this accident the Snout or nose extended 112 to two feet more than at present— These are not the bones referred to in the accompanying Letter—2 I expect them down shortly when I shall feel proud in forwarding them to you— Permit me this opportunity of offering my Services to you & to assure you that I shall feel highly gratified if by any Information, or Specimens I can obtain in this Country I can contribute to the advancement of Science in my native land—

My last letter from Mr. Darwin was from the Falkland Islands 30 March; at which time all was well— | I have the honour to be Sir | Your most obt Sert| Edward Lumb


The cranium was described by Richard Owen in Fossil Mammalia, pp. 16–35, as that of a ‘gigantic extinct mammiferous animal, referrible to the Order Pachydermata, but with affinities to the Rodentia, Edentata, and Herbivorous Cetacea’. Owen named it Toxodon platensis.


Fossil Mammalia: Pt 1 of The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle … during the years 1831 to 1836. By Richard Owen. Edited and superintended by Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder and Co. 1839–43.


On CD’s instructions EL has forwarded a case containing part of the head of [Megatherium].

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Lumb
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Buenos Ayres
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 244,” accessed on 20 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1